The Best self-development Podcasts

I’m obsessed with podcasts.

It’s like reading, but having the information delivered through your ears. It allows for so many more opportunities to consume information without having to hold a book in front of your face. Or, depending on the podcast, it feels like eavesdropping on some crazy interesting conversation.

My favorite thing is walking, cooking or painting whilst listening to a podcast. I will go out of my way to prolong the walk, or finely chop onions into the tiniest pieces just to listen more.

If you are also podcast-obsessed, then you may find this list valuable. As you’ll see, I’m all about personal development, self-improvement, psychology, philosophy, type material. If you’re into that sort of thing then I guarantee you’ll like this list.

Please do share your recommendations too. I’m always open to recommendations.

The Goop Podcast

This is my go-to podcast. No matter what, I’ll always find something that interests me. I’ve heard quite a few people say that they are turned off by the overly-American type style accents, and maybe even dislike Gwenyth Paltrow. But honestly, the content is amazing and certainly worth listening to. Elise (the host) takes a lot of “out there ideas” and hammers them out with some hard questions that leave you feeling satisfied. I’m attracted to shiny spiritual stuff but not when it’s pure fluff, this podcast is like a really lovely conversation that steers to concrete goodness. All the time.

My favorite episodes:

There are so many it’s hard to choose, but here a few of my absolute favorites to get started:

Under The Skin with Russell Brand

I never used to like Russel Brand. The first time I saw him in anything was in the movie ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ and even though his character was meant to be irritating, I found him completely repulsive. That nasty rat-like hair, scrawny body, and self-obsessive attitude made my skin crawl. But to see him broken down and humbled after facing his demons of addiction so publicly is really quite courageous. He’s done a lot of work to get where he is now and I really enjoy the wisdom he shares as it comes from a place of profound understanding and empathy. He’s also quite funny too, it’s nice to have a little bit of light in the darkness to balance it out. I also recommend following him on Instagram for light bite-sized info and his YouTube channel.

My favorite episodes:

SuperSoul Sunday

I absolutely love Oprah, she’s like this wise, yet sassy grandmother. Her down to earth approach makes everyone feel welcome and informed. I never really watched the Oprah Show when I was younger but I think Super Soul Sundays is a kind of extension of that.

My favorite episodes:

All In The Mind

I first heard of this podcast at The Big Anxiety, which is a festival that brings together artists, psychologists, and communities to re-imagine the state of modern mental health. It’s the largest mental health and arts festival in the world. I recently went to one exhibit here in Sydney at the Art Gallery of NSW which showcased a panel on how to be a more effective listener. The panel was absolutely incredible, I learned so much from that. I think everyone in the world should be taught how to be a better listener. The woman who hosted it was Lynne Malcolm, the same woman who presents on All In The Mind.

My favorite episodes:

Secular Buddhism

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been drawn to Buddhism. I love its calming nature and the way it never insists and forces you into abandoning anything to become a full-blown Buddhist. It always offers small nuggets of wisdom that can be seamlessly integrated into daily life. I have already learned so much and feel calmer in my life as a result of listening to it.

My favorite episodes:

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd

This is a newer addition to my podcast collection, I don’t know how I found it but I think I was researching something about John Gottman. I absolutely loved hearing the interview with Gottman and seeing how his theories could be applied in real life. Even though Dax Shepherd is a bit of an oddball, I appreciate his honesty and regular ‘humanness’. He doesn’t seem interested in appearing like he has it all together, as the description of the podcast states: it’s all about the messiness of being human.

My favorite episodes:

Ted Talk Radio Hour

I remember listening to TedTalks in my university days while getting ready for class, or mostly while procrastinating on an essay. I loved how it was informative yet also followed a storyline that kept me engaged. This was way back before podcasts were even a thing. The Ted Talk Radio Hour podcast combines similar themed talks together and Guy Raz does a really great job interviewing the person behind the talk. I think he’s one of the best interviewers of all time. If I ever do this kind of work I’d hope to be someone like him.

My favorite episodes:

Canadian writer, meditation facilitator, and transpersonal art therapist based in Sydney, Australia. Read more on her website: https://kimberlyhetherington.com/

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